Thursday, July 30, 2009


You know the big brother system of tracking every animal in the universe for the purposes of "disease tracing?" Well the public comment period is ending. Like the program or not, check out the No NAIS blog and then go here and let them know what you think. Like I said, for it or against it, I think you should be heard.

NAIS TRIVIA: did you know that you would (as it stands now) need to file papers with the USDA to move show animals from your home/farm to a show and then again to move them back? Sweet.

A page form the Big Book of "Duh!"

So a study was released that shows there is not any significant nutritional difference between Organic and non-organic foods. What's funny about many of the news sites is that they are reporting that Organic food is not more "Healthy" while the study looks at nutritional content, not over all health benefits. You know, like the benefits of not eating pesticides, 2-4-D, Glyphosphate or all those extra antibiotics. Assuming your producer is not lying about their status

Well, duh. I would venture the nutritional content is no different. I didn't need 50 years of studies to confirm it. And I don't think any of the Organic-foods-whackadoodles I've met ever contended you get more vitamins and minerals from Organic foods. Though, probably some of them do. Some probably tell you Organic foods will make your hair grow back, fix your car and save the world. I don't know about any of that, but Organic food will certainly empty your checking account :)

I have my own issues with the Organic label system (mostly because the motivation to use the label and not bother to comply with regulations is HUGE), but this study was just stupid. I hope some tax payer didn't pay for it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update for Hog buyers

While Farrowing is still a ways off, I wanted to let everyone know...

1. I will get back to your e-mail. I know it's poor form to be so slow, but I've been travelling and cutting hay. Please forgive me :)

2. I will be posting pictures and information (pedigree) concerning this falls Sires/Dams. I do not own one of the sires, so I will only be able to post pedigree information. As noted before, I should be able to provide breeding pairs with reasonable inbreeding. Turns out one of my Dams was bred to her brother, and not half brother, so her littler will have a higher CI. I'll analyze the pedigree of the other litters closely, but there is a chance that none of the most line bred piglets will be sold for breeding stock. Good news for those looking to find feeders.

In the spring, there will be a boar shuffle and CI should be manageable for all litters. Should be more feeder pigs available as well.


Monday, July 27, 2009

So what about the pigs?

Here is big momma and some of the children. Everyone fears big momma.

Not. She's sweet as candy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Grown up, wrap up

OK, being on the road in the middle of nowhere was not real conducive to real time blogging. I'm a technological Philistine (no mobile Internet) and only use my cell phone to make calls :)

So here is a recap of the last few days....

From Ogden (after viewing the cool art horses) we headed over to Kearney. Got in late...REAL late (as Alandra noted below). Then off to Springfield MO. Wednesday morning, we went to the Wolfe's and grabbed Bog Mama, Matilda and Samuel. OK. I know these are "Large" Black Pigs, but OH MY WORD. Big momma is in the neighbor hood of 500+ pounds and 6 feet long. And she is 3 years old. Funny thing, she has the exact same birthday as our youngest daughter!! Isabel says she is going to give Big Momma some cake on her birthday. I'm sure she'll love it.

I was not sure the trailer had enough room, or that it would survive the trip. Kind of did, kind of didn't. More on that later.

We had pigs, 55 gallon water tank sacks of hog chow and hay...time to head home.

The drive from Ozark, MO to Sioux Falls, SD was a bit of a blur. It was hot and we watered the pigs liberally. And as a result left nasty smelling brown puddles everywhere we went. But the pigs were cool and that's what mattered.

From here on out, from Sioux Falls. First off, if you ever visit Sioux Falls I recommend the Spring Hill Suites by Marriott. Check out the pictures here. Very cool "Neuvo-retro" feel. Great staff, right off the highway and free breakfast. ++ for a road trip weary crew.

From Sioux falls, we headed west on I-90 towards rapid city, Mount Rushmore, Devils tower (didn't make that one), Bozeman (spontaneous stop at the museum of the Rockies) and eventually Buffalo, WY. Along the highway, we started seeing signs for the Mitchell Corn Palace. Who could skip that? Well...not us. We stopped, sprayed some H20 on our little piggies....and went to the carb palace.

Very interesting retrospective on corn-based exterior decorating options. The stop was brief, as we needed to keep on keeping on.

Next we hit mount Rushmore. After an exciting drive from Rapid City (lots of hills...sorry piggies) we went into the park. And found that a cross member under the trailer had fallen off (broken welds) and was dragging behind us, held on only with the trailer wiring that had bee run through it. A few quick snips (no trailer lights now...) and inspection of the rest of the trailer undercarriage, and we were on our way to the parking area. Neat place, lots of stuff. Recommend it highly.

After leaving the mountain (I had tied a couple of 14,000# tie down straps across the bottom of the trailer as insurance) we headed to a local hardware store. I had to get a few tools and I managed to fix the wiring harness. All while "pig water" dribbled across my head. So I changed clothes (in the store parking lot...what a stink) and we were on our way.
So no Devi's tower. Not enough time. We did have just enough time to see a couple of buck antelope (we saw tons of them in WY but always to far away for a good picture). Off to bed in Buffalo WY.

The next day we managed to stop at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. It was not planned, but when I saw the signs on the side of the road, I thought that Chris would be tickled. And I wanted to go as well. Chris got more than he bargained for.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Whew! We had a long day yesterday! We finally reached our hotel in ?Kearney, NE, at 2:00am local time. Then left at 8:30. We are in Springfield, MO right now in our hotel. We got here before 8:30pm local time. That is our record for this trip. After a dinner at Wendy's, (by the way, Sweet and Spicy Asian Chicken is really good), and a good swim, I am now, well, blogging! So, we are picking up pigs tomorrow, then traveling to South Dakota. Day after that,... WE'RE SEEING MT. RUSHMORE!!!!!!! I'm Sooooo excited! I have never seen any of this before, but I can't wait to see Mt. Rushmore more than anything else on the whole trip. But, getting pigs is... about half as exciting as that. Hey, I'm not the Pigman! Although, I do quite like our pigs. Anyways, Time for some shut eye. Good Night!

Monday, July 20, 2009

This just in from UT

So here we are. Beginning of day 2 of the "Hogtrip 2009." We're in Ogden UT, having passed through WA, OR and ID yesterday. This trip we're taking it slower as we move across the country. For example, on "Hogtrip 2008" we went from Walla Walla to Ft. Collins Colorado the first day. Ogden was the lunch stop :)

This time it's more fun.

And maybe I should make this an annual thing. There is always interest from other folks in me grabbing a few extra hogs for other buyers, so maybe I should use that as an excuse for an annual road trip. I may be delivering defender boars next year if all goes well. Family vacations with hogs? Well see.

Now for Alandra...our designated road blogger.



We are in Ogden, UT. Ogden is beautiful. There are a ton of historic buildings here.Besides that, our hotel is right next to a street with statues of horses lining every side. Now that may not seem interesting, but they are all painted with different things on them. For example, One of them is a black horse with flames on it. Another is white with flowers entwining it's body and legs. They are fascinating! My favorite though, is the horse with a Native American chief with some of his people around him. Anyway, moving on.
Check Spelling

Yesterday, we went by the first bit of the Rockies. They were huge! But, they were only, per say, the foot hills. I got some really good photos. We also had Lunch in this really cute park in Idaho. And across the street, there was an old fashioned fire truck that was really cool. (I didn't get photos of the park,but got some good ones of the fire truck.) Last, night, we thought that we were going to have a big storm. Well, we did if you count 10 minutes of light rain. Yet, the weather forecast we are going to be following thunder storms for the rest of the trip! Noooooooooooo! But, oh well. Since we have to go, I suppose that we will have to wait for another day to write more of my horrible experience with my Father:)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Because once is not enough...ROAD TRIP!!!

My friends over at Wolfe Mountain Farms are parting with some of their stock. These folks are HUGE advocates for the LBH/LBP and Kay is the LBHA president. I have been fortunate enough to lay claim to two bred sows and a boar (Noble Sam). This is exciting for two reasons...first I, uncle Chris (who you may remember was on my first Hog buying expedition) and my eldest daughter get to go to Missouri and meed the Wolfe Farms Folks. Second, I should ave plenty of piggies (5 Hogs farrowing) in the Sept.-Nov. time frame and able to provide some breeding pairs out of this falls litters.

Three people, three Hogs, 6 days, 4000 miles. Pray for us :)

Alandra will be blogging from the road. We depart on the 18th, so keep your eyes peeled for some blow-by-blow from the road.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Poor Old USDA

I just ran into an article that nicely sums up why I think the "Certified Organic" label isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Over on MSNBC there's an article about the continuing relaxation of what is allowed under the Organic program. I have long held that (for example) Cattle raised in an organic feedlot are not on the whole entirely different than those raised on a non-organic feedlot.

The real problem is marketing and perception. Because the label gets a premium in the marketplace, more producers (agribusiness) push to get their current products and practices "blessed" by the program. The public (folks I talk to) largely have a false image of happy animals trotting through green pastures. They think that CO veggies are safer. The CO label does not, in any way shape or form, guarantee this. You cannot even be sure that the banned substances have not been used. With the markup for CO produce, using banned substances is a gamble that some producers are willing to make.

For the small, open system, "all natural" producer....? Organic certification is often too expensive to bother with.

If you want to buy organic, by all means. I don't think it'll hurt anything other than your wallet. Better yet, hit the farmers markets and talk to your grocery managers and find out who is producing your food and how they do it.


So I pomised to tell the tale of the potty frog, and now I will. A few weeks ago we travelled to Klinks resort. Resort is a bit of a gentrification of what klinks is, really a private campground. Very crowded, very nice and the kids had a blast. We arrived on Saturday, fortunately missing the torrential rains of the evening before. 88 degrees and sunny. Kids on the water slide. It was nice.

So, having setup the old camper and sent mom and the kids off to swim (88 degrees is way to cold to get me in the water anymore) I began cooking. Out little propane stov ewas sizzling away when one of my daughters, Mya, came running up with a very puzzled look on her face. Here is about how the conversation went...

Mya: "Papa! Papa!"

Me: "What?"

Mya: "I found a frog."

Me: "So..."

Mya: "It's in the toilet."

Me: "What?"

Mya: "I was going potty and when I flushed I saw something spinning in the potty. It was a frog!"

Me: " did it dissapear."

Mya: "Nope."

Me: "It's still in the toilet?"

Mya: "Yep."

Me: "Do think you should go fetch it? Kind of seems it won the lottery still being there. After all you DID pee on him."

See Mya, Natty and the potty frog below.

A fine trip was had by all. Even the flat tire on the way home. I got soo far off the road (thanks to a hole in the highway fence and a slope too steep to safely return to the highway) that we had a chance to explore the backroads around Connel, WA. VERY interestting.